Initially foreigners are not allowed to make purchase deal to buy freehold properties in UAE and Dubai. But soon after announcement of freehold Dubai property law in 2002 professional real estate investors and foreigners started taking interest to invest in real estate market of UAE. State government invested huge money to build infrastructure of this city in order to make it less dependent on oil.
Evolution of Dubai Freehold Property Market
If you look behind evolutionary stage of freehold property market in Middle East, you come to know that freehold property market was started in 1998 just after the project launch of Dubai Marina. Even though, at that time there was no freehold property legislation existed in UAE. Only villas were available as leasehold asset for 99 years. After the legal approval of freehold property law in 2006, non-GCC nationals (GCC stands for Gulf Cooperation Council, comprising Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the UAE, Oman, Bahrain and Qatar) are allowed to possess freehold properties. This law exclusively revolutionized Dubai property market. Real estate investors across the world started taking interest to make huge investments in existing and new construction projects.
Exact Meaning of Freehold property in Dubai
Dubai freehold properties are available for purchase for local and foreigner residents as well. People belong to any country across the globe are allowed to purchase and hold a freehold property forever unless they decide to resale it to anyone. Moreover, such owners are still allowed to pass their assets to any family member allowing them to enjoy sole ownership of the property. They are free to resale their houses any time and also allowed to rent out to third party. But investors can find some restrictions in certain specific projects. Such restrictions enforced owners to follow certain conditions that limit them to make alterations in their properties and force them to maintain their property to certain standard as these assets are located in private community developments. Buying apartment is different from buying a villa. Apartment purchase deal is legally listed as common hold asset deal. Because apartment is a part of project and as an owner you will have to follow certain conditions in case of renovation and modification as well renting out to third parties.
Is it possible to buy Freehold Properties in other Emirates of UAE?
Dubai is the first Emirate of UAE that allowed non-GCC residents to possess a freehold property in specific areas of Dubai. Other Emirates of UAE are also focusing to develop their own property laws. Recently Abu Dhabi (2005) and Ajman (2006) have announced freehold properties available in certain specific areas. Other states are also focusing to provide freehold ownership to expats and foreigners. Although, states are taking interest to develop freehold properties but still federal government of UAE didn’t announce any law on federal level. Several freehold residential projects also offer residency or relocation visa via purchase. Moreover, Government has announced a special type of residency visa to foreign people buying properties in this emirate. This kind of visa only allows foreigners to live in Dubai but it doesn’t allow them to work in Dubai.